2022 takes Bolton Gems into its 60th year of business in the jewellery industry. Bolton Gems have been supplying quality Diamonds, Colour Gemstones, Jewellery and Pearls to the jewellery industry within the Australasian region.
The aim and core focus of Managing Director, Brett Bolton, is to provide these markets with the most competitive, professional, and efficient supply of their wide range of products. Brett’s wife, Dee, has been supporting him in achieving these goals, along with their team of dedicated and highly qualified staff. Subsequently, Bolton Gems has established a reputation for the highest ethics, uncompromised service, product knowledge and customer relations.
With buying offices in the major gemstone centres of Mumbai, Bangkok, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong, allows Bolton Gems to supply quality products to the Australasian market. The buying power, product knowledge, industry experience and expertise, guarantees their clients receive the best value for money and exceptional products within a timely fashion.
Bolton Gems prides itself in continuing to constantly evolve, introducing new and exciting product ranges into the market. These fresh products and branded lines allows Bolton Gems to continue to hold its place as one of the leading wholesale suppliers in its region.
1/2 Brett and Dee Bolton – Bolton Gems
The History of Bolton Gems
For Brett’s father, Kym Bolton, life in the Gem business began as a ‘peddle pup’, he was the only son of ‘rockhounds’ Denys & Patricia Bolton who started Bolton Gems in 1962.
Denys was a pilot with TAA. He and Pat eagerly encouraged their two children, Kym and Kay to take part in rock collecting on their many expeditions. Countless holidays were spent at the sapphire fields in Central Queensland and New South Wales, as well as Agate Creek in North Queensland.
Being an airline pilot, Denys saw great potential in the cheap airfares to Bangkok. This was the beginning of many overseas ventures for colour buying trips. Denys and Pat would visit the many cutting centres around Bangkok, hand carrying back the many small parcels of stones which they had acquired.
It did not take Pat long to become well known to names such as Holt Hardy and Sir George Proud. It was on these repeat visits to Sydney that really saw the company grow from its small beginnings and take shape, lending itself to great prospects for the future – ‘Bolton Gem Merchants’ was born.
By 1968, Kym was in his final year of school. He had met Lyn, and his passion for the jewellery industry had not subsided. He enrolled to study Gemmology in 1969. 12 months later Kym decided it was time to begin building his empire – the finest gem company in Australia.
In 1971 Kym and Lyn married. Kym and his mother Pat made many sales trips to Sydney and Melbourne during his early married years. At this time the company was run from Denys and Pat’s home in Aspley. During 1973-74 Kym saw a great need to expand the office premises and grow the company into an inner-city office. Bolton Gems Merchants then moved to the 10th floor of the T & G Building in Brisbane.
The company continued to grow, and between Kym and Pat they managed to cover most of Australia on their sales trips. At this time the company only dealt in coloured stones, with strength lying in Ruby and Aquamarine. By 1974, Bolton Gem Merchants attended their first Trade Show at the Wentworth Hotel in Sydney. The company was the only merchant to be exhibiting at this time. They started to hold Christmas parties for the entire Brisbane trade. This was an unusual and somewhat remarkable event as it was not often that so many jewellers from the one city would congregate socially. Kym was 23 at this time, and already he had much of the industry listening and watching him.
In 1976 Denys and Pat decided that they no longer wished to continue operating Bolton Gem Merchants. It was then Kym and Lyn took on the challenge of taking over the family business. They took on a second mortgage, made a big move and laid it all on the line to see the continued success of the company it had become.
At this time Lyn became more involved in the operations of the business. She commenced a GAA course in order to better equip herself for working in the industry and would take Brett, her son, as a young baby to her night classes.
Over the next 10 years the company grew at a rapid pace. Lyn’s sister, Donna joined the company, along with another salesman and bookkeeper. The business expanded into diamonds and pearls. Again, the office space had become too small for the operation they were running and in 1988, Kym and Lyn purchased the office on Brisbane’s Northside. Expansion was quick, growing from 4 to 18 staff with an annual turnover of $500,000 to $12 million.
Like his father Kym, Brett being born into this trade it only seemed natural to be a part of the family business. Brett’s passion for the industry began at an early age. Brett began his career with Wallace Bishop Jewellers, working school holidays and moved into full time hours after leaving school. Kym has been a great mentor to Brett over the years and has enriched his life with the extensive knowledge he has gained from his many years’ experience in the industry.
By the time Brett was 18, he was working for the company as an on the road sales rep. He travelled around Australia with his stock-bag, selling to clients all over the country. As his passion for the industry continued to develop, he moved into assisting his father with the purchasing of diamond stock, and then into overall operations of the head office.
In 2004, the real magic happened when Dee, a young lady from Sydney was employed, as the NSW Sales Representative. Over the coming months Brett and Dee’s relationship developed from that of co-workers to a long-distance romance which caught them both off guard. Brett and Dee married in 2006 and purchased Bolton Gems from Kym and Lyn the following year in 2007. The challenge was great, they were newly married but ready to take on this mammoth challenge of owning the business along with welcoming a their first baby girl, Ceylon who was born in the same year. Closely followed by their son Jaeger in January of 2009, it was a busy few years of juggling home and work life.
With Dee having a keen eye for coloured gemstones and jewellery, it came very natural and easy for them to work together as a team. The company has established many leading brands over the years which has gone from strength to strength. Our greatest success has been in Eternity Finely Cut Diamonds, Australian Chocolate Diamonds; from the Argyle mines of Australia, Fine Gems; which is our coloured gemstone collection of jewellery and then also Biron Laboratory Grown Diamonds. Bolton Gems being the first to bring Lab grown diamonds into Australia.
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For Brett and Dee, there has been a lot of determination along with being given so much support which has inspired them to continue to develop the company into one of Australia’s leading wholesale companies – the original dream!
In 2019, they purchased a building and made the move from our Strathpine office to our new address in Brendale where they refurbished a large building complete with a fabulous new sales room that allows us to have clients come in and purchase stock or create new personalised pieces with our in-house production manager and jewellery team. The company has continued to grow into area’s which they never thought possible and the incredible team they have by their side is truly humbling.
It is Brett and Dee’s greatest honour to see the continued developments and growth of Bolton Gems, 60 years later they are looking forward to the many years ahead. “I sincerely hope to see this family business operating successfully for many more generations to come.”said Brett.
“We would like to thank you all for your support over the 60 years we have traded. Please join us at the August Jewellery Trade show as we celebrate this incredible achievement of 60 years.” Brett and Dee Bolton.